Do you have insomnia?
It’s 2 a.m. You haven’t slept yet. And you’re staring down an 8 a.m. meeting. Is it insomnia, a condition defined by the inability to fall or stay asleep throughout the night and suffering daytime consequences (such as sleepiness) as a result?
“Women are 150 percent more likely to have insomnia than men,” says Dr. Meir Kryger, a professor with the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. and author of A Woman’s Guide to Sleep Disorders. Dr. Kryger also notes that there’s a difference between acute insomnia -generating from, say, too much coffee that day – to chronic insomnia, defined by sleeplessness at least three to four nights a week, for three months or more.
Why are women so susceptible? Part of it is the hormonal changes women experience in their lives, from monthly menstruation to post-partum hormonal changes to menopause, all of which can influence sleep. “There are also some diseases associated with insomnia that are much more common in women than men-for example, depression,” says Dr. Kryger.
But when it is 2 a.m. and you’ve had no sleep, how do you get through it? Here’s how some readers battle their insomnia.